American Sign Language Grammar

To be or….nope, not to be

One of the most interesting and unique parts of ASL is the fact that the verb “to be” is absent from the language.  This is something that you have already learned, but may not be aware that you know. For example: The sentence “I am going to the store” is signed as “STORE I GO”.  […]

Synonyms…Why do they matter in American Sign Language (ASL)?

One misconception about American Sign Language is the belief that there is a sign for every word. However, unlike the English Language, ASL is based on communication through concepts. One example is the word “car”. There is not a specific sign for “car,” rather, the interpretation of it could include several synonyms or related words, […]

A Question From a Reader…

Question:  Is there such a thing as a “dominant” and “non-dominant hand-rule? Answer:  The answer is “Yes”.  American Sign Language does have “rules” about dominate-hand usage.  The hand you write with usually becomes your dominant hand when signing.  For example, if you are right handed, the signs that require movement will be made with this […]

The Use of Synonyms in American Sign Language (ASL)

Synonyms in American Sign Language are powerful to know when learning this vast language. For example, if you were to sign “car”, what else could that sign represent? It could represent the words: Vehicle, automobile, transportation, and auto. You can probably think of an additional word or two that also means “car”. Many times when […]

Non-Manual Markers in American Sign Language (ASL)

We recently received an email from a student about the use of non-manual markers.  This person wanted to know how non-manual markers are used in American Sign Language.  Does ASLdeafined show the use of non-manual markers? Non-manual markers include the use of facial expressions, body language, head movements, eye gazes, etc.  For example, if you […]

American Sign Language Grammar: “To Be Verbs”

Many people have asked us about how to sign verbs in American Sign Language (ASL).  Now, with most languages, a complete sentence would consist of at least one noun and one verb.  However, in many cases, American Sign Language doesn’t have verb conjugations.  And, there are NO “To be verbs” in ASL. In English, the […]

“Time” in American Sign Language (ASL)

Today’s lesson references the hand’s position/MOTION, for when you are signing “time” (future, past, or present), in American Sign Language (ASL).  Before you read the rest of this blog, PLEASE make yourself comfortable with how to sign the following words:  today, tomorrow, yesterday, before, past, future, recently, now, long ago, many years ago, and other […]

American Sign Language: How Do You Sign Yes and No Questions?

American Sign Language is a dynamic language, having its own set of linguistic rules and principles.  Yesterday, we explored on how to sign a statement in ASL.  Now, I want to show you how to sign a “Yes or no” question in ASL.  Please keep in mind, you need to follow these simple rules while […]

American Sign Language: Declarative Sentences in ASL

Learners of American Sign Language seem to have a difficult time understanding the structure of ASL.  For the next couple of posts, I will be discussing each type of sentence structure known to American Sign Language.  Then, I will give you a quiz to see how well you do at the end of each posting. […]